Puttin' It On The Table

Cynthia coins the term 'whore-pocracy,' and it becomes her battle cry.

The Devil You Know

Apollo delivers an up-nostril Instagram video from the gates of prison, gravely announcing to the world, "I'm about to go asunder." May he spend some quality time in the prison library during his eight-year stint.

Meanwhile, in the bright light of day, Phaedra and her totally necessary suited bodyguards check out of her safe-place hotel room and return to her house. Once she's settled in, she bounces next steps off her assistant, including therapy sessions for Ayden. But before that? An exorcism for the house. Phaedra just knows Apollo left bad energy behind, and she's so angry with him for the burden he's left her. She sums up her frustration thusly: "I could just kill him with my own two hands, then embalm him, then cremate him, then flush him down the commode." Maybe the house is not what needs exorcising here.

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More Like A Homegirl Than A Wife

"We ain't gettin' it in like we used to!" Kandi whines to a recently-returned Todd. She insists that their weekly sex is not enough to sate her appetite and recommends they see a therapist. For his part, Todd just wants her to ditch the protective hair bonnet she sleeps in. "The most thirstiest dude couldn't get it up" when faced with one of those things, he argues. Then they have a petty back-and-forth about which sexual icon the other isn't (Tyson, Rihanna, Idris Elba). It is basically a version of the same annoying argument that every couple has on a sofa eventually. Yet for some reason, this one got televised.

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Make It Make Sense To Me!

Cynthia and Kenya are supposed to be globe-trotting, metropolitan supermodels, yet one is baffled by the existence of fruited cheese and the other ogles cheese rind like it's from outer space. Claudia, as the third party in this wine-tasting outing, knows all about wine…as long as it's Moscato, or similar sugar water. But enough about wine and cheese, because what they've really come to sample is T. (Lordy, I'm talking like them now!) Cynthia is just frothing at the mouth waiting to repeat all the Phaedra-cheating conjecture she's heard from Peter. Kenya is shocked to her jumpsuited core. Hearing the possibility that her arch-enemy has been throwing stones to hide her whorish hands all this time, Kenya goes from "like, shaking!" to gushing forth big, sloppy crocodile tears. "You don't get to call me a whore!" she roars to the heavens above. From this point on in the episode, the word "whore" is used to replace all proper nouns, articles and adjectives.

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Deliver Us From Evil

"I'm fighting for my sanity!" Phaedra says, all but touching a frilly white hanky to her perspiration points. She proves it's a fight she's losing when she welcomes her latest guest, a deep-voiced apostle. (I'll just pretend I even know what that is.) He sweeps through her house, armed with what looks like an upcycled bottle of Patron (ostensibly containing holy water), all the while shouting at evil spirits that may or may not be hiding in her kitchen, nursery, and garage. Phaedra's assistant may as well go ahead and book double therapy sessions for poor little Ayden. The lone high point is Ayden's bit of comedy before the calamity. Mr. President is playing with mom's phone, prompting big brother to giggle, "He's talking to someone. It's either a bumblebee, or a stranger!" I wanna laugh with the kid, but I'm too busy crying for him.

Right Is Right

Cynthia and Peter are in her closet concocting drama. She thinks Phaedra's wrong for past slights against Kenya, especially in light of the potentially scandalous texts Peter shared with her. Then, in a flash of sanity, Cynthia thinks aloud (far too late), "We don't even know if it's true." Trying their best to cover up the land-mines they've single-handedly planted, Peter adds, "It's not something that you and I actually have anything to do with." These two fight so much less with each other when they're conspiring to make others fight.

Ho-Hum House Call

Kandi drops in for a visit with Phaedra to ask, "So, what happened?" We get some recaps of Apollo's last tirade and Phaedra's very one-sided summation of things he did and said during his final days. Through it all, Kandi seems nonplussed, at best. Phaedra, apropos of nothing, throws in a mention about how NeNe's been calling her every day to check up on her. (Implying that, in contrast, Kandi has not.) This is all part of a heavy-handed treatment to establish the "Kandi's not a good friend to Phaedra" storyline that's brewing. Snore.

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Unlimited Beef

The entire herd hits up Fogo de Chao, and my main takeaways from this disastrous dinner are accessory-related. It all boils down to a purse and a pair of earrings. Cynthia does a piss-poor job of committing to her role as muckraker. She even has multiple talking heads where she parrots, "Look, I don't personally have a problem with Phaedra, really." But once she finally does blab about Phaedra's alleged affair to the group, Claudia's hideous wooden cross earrings come into focus. Though it would be an affront to fashion, they need to be much bigger (if such a thing is possible) because every other woman in the room needs saving once the verbal sparring gets underway. Chief among them is Phaedra. Kenya picks up what Cynthia just threw down and starts screaming "whore" like it's one of those WWHL drinking games. At this point, Phaedra -- who's been fairly poised thus far -- rears back her oversized envelope clutch and aims for Kenya's flapping gums. NeNe and Porsha hold her back and escort her out before things get violent.

But the drama goes from their seats to the streets, as Kenya and Cynthia follow Phaedra outside to shout more verbal attacks at her. Everyone's shouting, but it's NeNe's voice that rises above all others when she argues that Cynthia should've never brought up the subject at a table full of folks who have nothing to do with Phaedra's marriage. Making folks actually agree with NeNe?! Bravo, Cynthia. You've gone from irrelevant to reviled in one episode.

Verdict

NeNe sums up my feelings pretty succinctly: "Cynthia needs to continue to have pageants at Walmart." True, if the ladies didn't meddle in each other's business, there'd be no show. But Cynthia is the last one to start shit because she's just not bad enough to back it up. She is out of her depth with nothing but a sad pair of deflated floaties. I recommend leaving this kind of thing to the NeNes and the Kenyas of Atlanta, Cynthia. Slink back into the closet with your wig mannequins.

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